Quantification of flight activity in absolute terms
A standard unit for quantifying the flight activity of birds is the Migration Traffic Rate (MTR). It describes the number of birds crossing a line of 1km vertical to the direction of flight in the course of one hour within a defined altitude interval. The term “migration” refers to its historical use, but the measure can be applied to any type of flight movements. MTR is thus a normalized unit and can be used to compare results from different radar systems. It can be calculated for various altitude ranges. A proper estimate of MTR requires a valid information of the surveyed volume, which depends on the radar properties and radar cross section of the target. For BirdScan radar systems, the shape and volume of the surveyed space is determined and radar cross section is estimated through the echo classifier.
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